SG Wealth Builder

To make money. To build wealth. To preserve wealth.

Month: August 2015

My gold journey with BullionStar

BullionStar announces their 3rd Year Anniversary celebration! Time really flies and it seems like yesterday when I forged a working relationship with BullionStar to promote understanding of gold bullion among Singapore readers. Since then, the company has grew from strength to strength and has became a leading bullion dealer in Singapore. It never fails to amaze that the company has managed to achieve this incredible feat within such a short period of time. In this regard, I am proud and honored to be part of their journey, even though I am not their staff.

Even though the gold and silver price premiums of BullionStar are not the lowest you can find in Singapore, what differentiates it from the rest of its competitors is its reputation and content authority on precious metal. The founder of the company, Torgny Persson has a strong conviction in gold as a form of wealth building and firmly believes that Singapore is the most ideal country to invest in gold bullion.

I have gained much insights on gold and silver from my conversations with Torgny and through the years, my perspective on wealth management has been broaden. Like many Singapore investors, I used to think that …

Why automated trading stop losses are not always ideal (especially now)

Below is a guest post from Cynthia Siantar who is the co-founder of Call Levels, a Singapore fintech that provides free real time financial monitoring and notification service.

I’m sure we all agree that last night and this morning was a total bloodbath in the markets. But one group of people got it worse than others and who are they?
Those that had their automated trading stop losses triggered prematurely (see below), crystalised their losses, only to see the markets rebounded sharply soon after (ouch!). Not to mention there will always be that group that slept through the turmoil and wake up massively poorer. Don’t laugh, they might be someone you know.
And this is the reason why institutional investors and traders still choose to leave Call Levels: Call me when the price reaches this level with salespeople despite having the ability to set their own stop losses. They want peace of mind. When the markets go into panic mode, and none of your technical indicators make sense anymore, they want to be aware when certain price points are HIT but they don’t necessary want to execute that trade.

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As my co-founder, Daniel not-so-fondly recalls that one night …

My favorite personal finance blogger

It was a pleasant surprise to see my favorite personal finance blogger, HYOM back in action after more than a year. For the uninitiated, HYOM stands for Help Your Own Money. HYOM started his investment blog at the same time as me (in 2010) and I have always respected his work. In fact, I am one of his biggest fans and enjoy reading his articles. However, after he suffered from retrenchment in 2011, he begun to blog less often. Since then, the local investment blogging fraternity had taken a different dimension altogether. Sadly, the scene is now crowded with many bloggers who cannot match HYOM’s writing standard. Nonetheless, in his maiden article for 2015, HYOM touched on a very interesting subject that resonates deeply in my heart and that is, entrepreneurship in Singapore.

HYOM’s post was triggered by an article from a former high flying civil servant, Mr Devadas Krishnada who commented that Singaporeans are too risk averse and lamented that this is bad for Singapore’s future growth. Devadas’ frustration stemmed from a recent recruiting experience in which an applicant demanded more money in exchange for the risk in joining a SME like his. While I can relate to …

Last Chance for Gold Investors

Dow Jones plunged 2 percent on 20 August and seemingly continued its slide on 21 August as uncertainty over the Fed’s timing on interest rate hike and global growth weighed on investors’ confidence in the financial markets. Weak data on China’s growth also dealt another mighty blow to investors and heightened fear on the world number two economy. Given the volatility in the stock market, it is no surprise that investors turn to gold.

Widely seen as a safe haven, investors drove gold price up 7% from a 5-year low in 5 August. This development is a reverse on the recent bearish sentiment on precious metal. According to World Gold Council, demand on gold dropped 12% on a 6 year low in 2Q 2015. The gold market also faced weakness from jewellery buyers in China and India. However, it should be noted that the 2nd half of the year would be more encouraging given the anticipated responses from investors in view of the recent price correction.

Investors seeking wealth protection should diversify their assets and allocate a certain portion of their wealth in gold and silver. The current window is a good opportunity for wealth builders to adopt buy …

CPF Retirement Planning Roadshows

According to a HSBC survey conducted in 2013, more than 50% Singaporeans felt that they are not planning adequately for their retirement. The study also revealed that poor health and not having enough money to spend in their later stage of lives are among Singaporeans’ greatest fears. The results of the survey are not surprising, given our aging population and high cost of living. If you are not careful with your personal finances in your twenties or thirties, chances are, you might not have a positive retirement lifestyle.

To prepare for retirement, the first thing we must ask ourselves is how much is needed in order for you to feel comfortable in retirement. The amount of money is subjective and varies across individuals but the rule of thumb is that the retirement fund should include your dependents’ needs, traveling, medical and other unforeseen expenses.

Once you establish your desired retirement nest egg, develop the financial roadmap to achieve this goal. For example if you need $2 million to retire, work out the monthly or annual savings you need to set aside. Besides the cash components, acquire income generating assets and passive income investments to support your retirement fund.

A common …

Money no enough for digital marketing talents

Agencies and organisations in Singapore are not fulfilling the needs of marketing, digital and creative talent in terms of remuneration and professional development, a new study by specialist recruiter font talent has found.

font’s Market Pulse 2014/15, which surveyed 500 respondents across Hong Kong, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore, found numerous disconnects between what employers claim to be providing for employees, and what talent are actually receiving.

Money is the number one consideration for marketing talent in Singapore looking for new roles (81%), yet just 54% of professionals feel they have been fairly remunerated in the past year. Worryingly, just 35% of employers said they offer competitive base salaries above the market average, and only half offer incentives and bonus programmes. However, bonuses appear to be paid adequately, with 22% of talent receiving a bonus between both $3,000-$4,999 and $5,000-$6,999.

In Singapore, the top median annual salaries were found in Digital, Design and Production roles, followed by Creative and Creative Services, while the lowest was in Media (Media Planning, Digital Ad Sales, etc.)

When comparing in-house and agency wages, agencies came out on top with a median annual salary of $58,800, compared with $43,200 in-house. From a benefits perspective, in-house …

Gold demand falls in Q2 2015 as reduced consumer appetite in Asia outweighs increased buying in some western markets

Below is an update on gold trend from World Gold Council. Notwithstanding the recent gold’s price drop and declining demand, gold investors should take a contrarian approach and seize this opportunity to buy gold. In Singapore, you can purchase gold and silver bullion from BullionStar, one of the leading bullion dealers.

The World Gold Council’s Gold Demand Trends report for Q2 2015 shows total demand was 915 tonnes (t), a fall of 12% compared to the same period last year, due mainly to a decline in demand from consumers in India and China. However, demand in Europe and the US grew, driven by a mixture of increasingly confident jewellery buyers and strong demand for bars and coins. Looking ahead, there are encouraging signs moving into what are traditionally the busiest quarters for gold buying in India and China.

Gold and Silver Bullion

Gold and Silver Bullion

Alistair Hewitt, Head of Market Intelligence at the World Gold Council, said:

“It’s been a challenging market for gold this quarter, particularly in Asia, on the back of falls in India and China. The reverse is true for western jewellery markets, as increased economic confidence led to continued growth in consumer demand. It is  fair to say …

The Ins and Outs of Mortgages in Singapore

Deferred Resale Levy

There is much to consider when the time comes to take out a housing loan in Singapore. Though it may seem intimidating and confusing at first, understanding the terms that you are dealing with will help, you get a head start on making your decision. Tools like the mortgage calculators offered by Property Guru can help you plan out payments and what fits best into your budget, but it’s best to start by learning about some aspects of mortgages in Singapore that may be unfamiliar. You’ll want to learn a little bit about how the SIBOR affects interest, the different types of rates that are offered on home loans, and how this factors into why refinancing is common in Singapore. Here’s a bit of an introduction to these concepts to start you on the way to your home loan.

Mortgages in Singapore

Getting a Grip on the SIBOR
To put it simply, the SIBOR, which stands for Singapore Interbank Offered Rate, is the reference by which banks in Singapore determine interest rates on loans. Experts indicate that the SIBOR is predicted to rise to 2 percent by the end of 2016. You’re probably wondering what this means to you. Basically, the SIBOR will …

My Career Low

career

This year marks the 10th year anniversary of my working life. It seems not so long ago that I stepped out of the university, fresh and ready to take on the world. I was driven, curious and hungry for success back then. Yet now, I feel like a spent force, jaded and weary of my journey. So many things have happened to me for the past 10 years, both good and bad, and they have inevitably shaped my character and thoughts.

I like my current job because of the opportunity to make significant impact in the industry I am working in. Yet, I came to realize that there is another side of the job equation that cannot be decoupled, and that is human relationships. Having the soft skills to deal with day-to-day issues are important in career success and unfortunately, this is not taught in school. Through the years, I came to realize that successful people are those with strong Emotional Quotient (EQ) and they tend to get ahead than those who are smarter or technically stronger. And this is the area which I fare the worst – the ability to manage my emotions.

career

For the past few years, I …

CapitaLand to boost digital efforts with technology stalwarts as members of its newly formed Technology Council

Below is a press release from Capitaland, one of the companies that I respect the most because of its foray in China over the years. The Singapore listed giant recent move into the use of technology to boost its real estate business would definitely help to give the company competitive edge in China. It is interesting to note whether such trend would take place in Singapore.

CapitaLand Limited has formed a new Technology Council consisting of high-calibre digital visionaries to boost its digital efforts to drive its real estate business. The council members are notable venture capitalists Foo Jixun, Managing Partner of GGV Capital and David Su, Managing Partner of Matrix Partners China, both of whom have strong tech focus and a keen eye for the next tech game-changers; as well as Gabriel Lim, CEO of the Media Development Authority of Singapore, the agency key to Singapore’s Smart Nation vision in mapping innovative infocomm media solutions. Together, the council provides strategic critique of CapitaLand’s operations and insights to the digital universe.

Mr Lim Ming Yan, President & Group CEO of CapitaLand Limited, said: “CapitaLand’s technology drive is part of the Group’s efforts to sharpen our customer-centric focus to develop real …

The sky is falling for Singapore shares investors

Many Singapore investors would be happy to see the back of July as it capped an awful month for the stock market. A total of $37.4 billion was wiped out and the combined value declined sharply by 3.9 per cent. I also saw an article in a local finance blog where one reader wrote how depressed he was to see his hard earned money evaporated away because of the market correction.

To put things into perspective, I have always advocated readers to only invest in monies that you can really afford to lose. If you have only $30,000 hard cash, you don’t invest all of it in shares. That’s pretty stupid and risky. The worse case is concentrating all your investments on a couple of shares when you are just learning how to invest. Obviously, such an approach is akin to asking for trouble. A market rout would have wiped out all your monies.

The mayhem in the China stock market is not surprising, given that it had surged to record highs for so many years. A correction is inevitable and would of course inflict mighty pains on many investors. Such is the growing pains of an emerging market. …

BullionStar explained the merits of fractional gold coins

Below is an article from BullionStar, a bullion dealer based in Singapore which exempted investment grade precious metals from the goods and services tax (GST). Just like BullionStar, one of the the goals of SG Wealth Builder is to educate Singaporeans on the merits of owning gold and silver bullion as a means of wealth preservation. 

Often, customers come into our shops and ask for the gold coin with the lowest premium. In this case, our answer is always the Royal Canadian Mint 1 oz Gold Maple Leaf. The Gold Maple Leaf offers not just the best value for money, but you also buy into a brand that is globally recognized for high manufacturing quality.

Why then, do we offer fractional coins in the form of fractional gold maples, kangaroos, pandas and lunar series and why do people purchase them even though the premiums are higher? Today’s editorial will discuss the different reasons people who buy gold buy fractionals.

Liquidity

Fractional coins offers the advantage of liquidity. Should one need a sum of money, one can sell a ¼ oz coin for example instead of selling an entire ounce. Now this is especially useful when the price where one

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